Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lawmaker criticized for proposal regulating use of Twitter, Facebook by civil employees

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 12, 2010) - A group calling itself COURAGE criticized a Filipino lawmaker who is proposing to regulate the use of social networking sites in government offices and state-run corporations.

“The Honorable Representative from Marikina is barking on the wrong tree in claming that the use of social networking sites is adversely affecting the productivity and quality of public service of the government workers. If only he would do his homework, it’s low pay and the patronage system in government and definitely not facebook and twitter use,” it said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

COURAGE, the national center of government employees, said Marikina Representative Romero Federico Quimbo filed the House Resolution No. 184 filed which seeks to regulate the use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in government offices and state-run corporations.

Ferdinand Gaite, COURAGE National President, said: “No matter how hardworking the employees may be, this will come to naught if the policies and program of the government that they are bound to implement are inadequate or worse, inimical to public service. Even the supposed increased in power expenses is negligible compared to the millions of funds being pocketed by the fat cats in the government offices some of whom rarely spend time at the office to do their jobs”.

“While the rest of the world are recognizing the use of the internet for better communications and information dissemination, the legislator is proposing to limit their use. It is also disheartening given that some government offices especially in the provinces have yet to have access to the net,” Gaite said, adding, that the national broadband project that is supposed to interconnect offices and speed-up public service has been shelved due to corruption. He was referring to the NBN-ZTE deal.

He said Quimbo should sponsor a legislation to increase the employees salaries and improve their working conditions. “His suggestion for employees to use their own laptops and internet connection for Facebook use is an insult to us because a majority of the government employees’ take home pay could not even take them home,” Gaite said.

But while Quimpo is proposing the regulation of the social networking sites among civil employess, President Benigno Aquino III and his spokesmen, on the other hand, has encourage citizens to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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